WASHINGTON – The city of Miami, Florida bestowed honorary citizenship on kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured in Gaza 1,033 days ago.
In doing so, Miami followed in the footsteps of Paris and Rome, both of which have also honored Shalit with the gesture.
The move was announced during a municipality council meeting, which also approved a bill declaring Israel's Independence Day 'Israel Day' in Miami.
After a festive ceremony, Israeli Consul General Ofer Bavly connected Mayor Manuel Diaz to Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, and the latter thanked him for the gesture.
Diaz has been mayor of the beachside city for over seven years, during which not a single honorary citizenship has been granted. He said Shalit was worthy of the honor, and that it was a symbol of solidarity between Miami and Israel.
The scroll denoting the honor explains it was bestowed on Shalit for his loyal service in defense of Israel.